Security Cameras

University Policy: 
715
Executive Summary: 

This Policy provides guidelines for the authorization and use of Security Cameras on UNC Charlotte property.

I. Policy Statement

It is the policy of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte to place Security Cameras on its property where necessary and appropriate to aid in protecting public safety and institutional property and as a deterrent to crime.  All video monitoring must be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, and in a manner that balances the University’s duty to promote a safe environment with the privacy rights held by UNC Charlotte faculty, staff, students, and guests.

II. Definitions

  1. Security Cameras are video monitoring devices placed on UNC Charlotte-owned or -operated property by authorized personnel for the purpose of protecting public safety or institutional property and to detect, deter, and/or assist in the investigation of criminal activity. Security Cameras do not include those cameras identified in Section III of this Policy.
  2. Security Camera Equipment Operators are individuals designated by UNC Charlotte as having responsibility for controlling University security camera equipment and/or viewing Security Camera video. 
  3. The Security Camera Coordinator is appointed by the Chief of Police and has the responsibilities set forth in Section IV.2 below.

III. Exceptions

This Policy does not apply to the following:

  1. Cameras used for legitimate instructional, research, or creative purposes;
  2. Cameras used for journalistic purposes;
  3. Cameras used for capturing public events and performances;
  4. Cameras used for viewing and/or recording public images in public spaces for University purposes, including video conferencing, marketing and recruitment, employee training, athletic coaching, or public observation, such as construction sites;
  5. Use of Security Cameras, either overtly or covertly, on a short-term basis for legitimate law enforcement purposes including, but not limited to, the gathering of evidence for a criminal investigation;
  6. Personally owned and operated cameras, webcams, or other recording equipment;
  7. Cameras in Police and Public Safety offices and patrol vehicles, and body-worn cameras; and
  8. Other cameras used for non-security purposes specifically excepted from this Policy by the Security Camera Coordinator on a case-by-case basis.

The Security Camera Coordinator maintains responsibility for oversight of cameras in Police and Public Safety offices and patrol vehicles, and body-worn cameras. However, these cameras are subject to unique technical, administrative, and regulatory requirements addressed by state law and Police and Public Safety directives, and are therefore not subject to this Policy.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

1. Security Camera Equipment Operators.

All Security Camera Equipment Operators must:

  1. Be trained on the technical, legal, and ethical use of Security Camera equipment and video;
  2. Use Security Camera equipment and video in accordance with University policy, including without limitation policies regarding non-discrimination;
  3. Refrain from recording, duplicating, or permitting unauthorized access to Security Camera video in a manner that exceeds their authorization or that is inconsistent with this Policy; and
  4. Provide written acknowledgement that they have read and understand this Policy and the limits of their authorization.

2. Security Camera Coordinator.

The Security Camera Coordinator will have responsibility for:

  1. Monitoring compliance with this Policy and applicable laws regarding Security Cameras;
  2. Identifying and recommending locations on campus where Security Cameras would be necessary and appropriate;
  3. Performing regular inspections of all Security Cameras to ensure functionality and compliance with this Policy;
  4. Training and authorizing Security Camera Equipment Operators;
  5. Ensuring that Security Camera Equipment Operators have been provided with appropriate work facilities so that unauthorized individuals cannot view Security Camera video; and
  6. Reviewing and approving Security Camera Installation Requests.

3. Vice Chancellors. 

Vice Chancellors, or their designees, have responsibility under this Policy for:

  1. Assisting the Security Camera Coordinator by making recommendations about the level of security required on various campus locations;
  2. Reviewing all requests for the purchase and installation of Security Cameras for locations over which they maintain responsibility; and
  3. Submitting requests for the authorization of Security Camera Equipment Operators to the Security Camera Coordinator.  Such requests must be in writing and detail the scope and nature of the control and access proposed Security Camera Equipment Operators will have to Security Camera equipment and video.

V. Camera Placement and Installation

  1. Individual colleges, departments, programs, or campus organizations wishing to install Security Cameras must submit a request describing the proposed location of the Security Cameras and any accompanying equipment, justifying the proposed installation, providing a cost estimate, and identifying the funding source or sources for purchase and ongoing maintenance. Requests may be initiated through submission of the form available at https://police.charlotte.edu/sites/police.charlotte.edu/files/media/SecurityCameraInstallationRequestForm-092019.pdf.
  2. The Security Camera Coordinator will be responsible for reviewing and recommending approval for requests for the installation of new Security Cameras.
  3. In making their decision as to whether to recommend approval of a request, the Security Camera Coordinator will consider whether: (a) installation of the requested Security Cameras is necessary and appropriate to protect public safety or institutional property and to detect, deter, and/or assist in the investigation of criminal activity; and (b) the proposed location of, as well as advancements in technologies related to the Security Cameras respect the reasonable expectations of privacy held among members of the University community. The Security Camera Coordinator will consult with representatives of other offices, as needed, when reviewing requests. Such offices may include: The Office of Legal Affairs, OneIT, Police and Public Safety, and Facilities Management.
  4. The Security Camera Coordinator will make recommendations to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Safety & Security (AVC, S&S) for approval or denial of the request. The AVS, S&S will make the final decision on approval or denial of the request
  5. Appropriate signage may be required by the Security Camera Coordinator to provide notice of the Security Cameras and enhance the crime prevention value of the Cameras.
  6. All Security Cameras must connect to the University’s Centralized Video Recording Retention Center (CVRRC), in accordance with University product, installation, maintenance, and support standards.
  7. The Security Camera Coordinator will oversee the installation of all Security Cameras in coordination with Facilities Management and the Office of Information and Technology Services. Security Camera views will be limited to public areas and may not include bathrooms, changing rooms, individual residence hall rooms or other areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  8. All costs associated with the purchase, installation, and maintenance of the Security Cameras will be the responsibility of the requesting unit.
  9. The use of false/misleading signage or dummy/placebo cameras is prohibited.

VI.  Recorded Video Storage and Access

  1. Recorded Security Camera video will be stored in the CVRRC, a secure data storage system that can be accessed only by personnel authorized by the Chief of Police.
  2. Recorded Security Camera videos are considered criminal intelligence records and will be retained in accordance with University Policy 605.3, Retention, Disposition, and Security of University Records.        
  3. Altering of Security Camera video is not permitted. The only exceptions are enhancing image quality for investigative purposes or blurring features to protect an individual’s privacy.
  4. Requests for external review or release of Security Camera video must be submitted to the Chief of Police, who will consult with the Office of Legal Affairs as appropriate.  The form for such requests is available at https://police.charlotte.edu/sites/police.charlotte.edu/files/media/SecurityCameraInstallationRequestForm-092019.pdf

VII. Non-Compliant Video Security Cameras

Security Cameras installed in violation of this Policy are subject to removal.

VIII. Applicable Standards and Forms

Revision History: 
  • Initially approved by the Chancellor May 16, 2014
  • Updated October 10, 2016
  • Updated April 19, 2018
  • Revised July 19, 2021

Authority: Chancellor

Responsible Office:  Police & Public Safety

Related Resources: